What happens when you write music on an introspective journey? That’s what George King, a UK producer and multi-instrumentalist also known as Catching Flies, did during his travels in southern France. Being by the sea in the Mediterranean coastline of southern France, he kept coming back to the concept of tides, the ebbs and flows of life, the cyclical nature of everything, which eventually led to the recording of his upcoming album ‘Tides’ during his journey. He shares with us his travels and how it inspired his music.

What does travel mean to you personally and also for your music?
George: Travel is super important to me both personally and professionally. Personally it is a way to relax, to soak up new cultures, and professionally, I find it very inspiring to be writing music on the move. Just little snippets and ideas rather than full tracks. I have files on my computer named ‘Denver Airport’ or ‘Taxi to Delhi’ – and these are ideas I’ve worked on at a specific moment in time. It excites me that I have these little mementos of certain journeys. And then if they end up being released, they always take me back to where I was or what I was doing at that time.

What made you decide to set out for southern France? Share with us what you experienced during your travels there.
G: It’s the closest place to London that has sea and sun! I like the South of France because you can get the Eurostar from London to Paris, have a morning in Paris, and then get on another train down to the South of France. It’s easy and efficient, and I enjoy writing music on trains with ever changing scenery.

I have spent a lot of time in Boulouris Sur Mer. It is a little seaside town on the Cote D’Azur. It is a lovely place to go out of season – mainly in October and April/May. Before the crowds come, it is peaceful and serene and also beautiful. Once you are on the Cote D’Azur, there is a trainline that serves most of it. So you can just hop on the train and go to a different little seaside town each time. Theoule-Sur-Mer is particularly beautiful. But the small beaches near Boulouris are also great because they are quiet and fairly untouched out of season – for example, Le Dramont, Tiki Plage, and Agay.

I took the trip with the specific purpose of writing new music. It is super inspiring to me to be out of the studio and in an unfamiliar place/new environment – and a nicer climate! I would get into the habit of going to the beach at Sunrise for a run, have a swim in the sea, and then make music all day. I also was lucky enough to stay at a hotel called ‘Les Roches Rouges’ (in Boulouris) for a few nights, which was super inspiring as it has an amazing view overlooking the Sea. I started a track called ‘True Colours’ there which ended up on the album. It sounds like the Sun to me.

It was in Boulouris Sur Mer that I actually decided on the album title ‘Tides.’ It just seemed so fitting. I was sitting on the beach with my laptop working on a song and looking up at the sea and everything pointed towards the Tides.

Do you record sounds from your travels? Tell us a little about the process of how you make your music!
G: Yes, all the time. I record it all on my iPhone. The mic is really good, as is the compressor on it. It makes recordings sound really crisp. The song ‘Tides’ has the sound of the sea hitting the pebbles on Le Dramont beach all the way through it. I use the sounds of nature in everything. I will break twigs and use them as snare drums, I use the sounds of my footsteps in a forest as Hi-Hats… I think anything you record in the ‘real’ world as opposed to from machines, creates this organic feel and breathes life and warmth into your music.

What was it like to set up studio by the sea at Boulouris Sur Mer?
G: The studio was very basic. It was pretty much just my laptop. I wanted it to be portable. I didn’t see the point of going to the South of France and sitting in an apartment and making music. So I would take my laptop and headphones to various places in Boulouris – the beach, by a lake, sometimes just sitting on this bench that overlooks the sea and watching people walk by. All of this informs the music and it is exciting to me to be able to create music in the ‘real world’ as opposed to in a dark room!

Is there a deeper meaning behind the name of your upcoming album “Tides”?
G: I think it was just the COVID period, the beginning and end of a relationship, the highs and lows of life, people close to me were going through a lot in the last few years also. I’ve always loved the Sea and it tied in nicely with this idea of the ebbs and flows of life. I always kept coming back to the concept of Tides, the cyclical nature of everything and the way sadness gives way to happiness… and vice versa. It all works out in the end though… and regardless of what’s happening, the sea is still there, a constant in the madness. I made the first track from the album ‘GLY’ whilst living in Kitsilano (Vancouver). I was living 1 minute from the beach. When I was back in the UK, I got into the habit of going to a different seaside town on a Monday and making music. There’s something about getting on a train, going somewhere you’ve never been and just working there for a day that is really refreshing and inspiring. So, all things considered, everything pointed to Tides! The album is essentially a scrapbook/collage of the last few years of my life. Both emotionally and sonically. And Tides was the recurring theme throughout all of that.

How do you want listeners to feel when they listen to the music in “Tides”?
G: Whatever they’d like! It was mine and now it is theirs. In some ways, it’s difficult for me to talk about something I’ve spent a lot of time working on in a vacuum. It’s kind of up to the listener now to decide all of this and what it means to them… I’m super excited to get it off my computer and into the real world.

Listen to the album ‘Tides’ on Soundcloud.

CATCHING FLIES (George King) is a UK producer and multi-instrumentalist whose melodic electronic music has gained millions of streams. George is a passionate traveler and has consistently found inspiration in nature, crafting his music through an intricate interweaving of field recordings gathered from his travels. His music mirrors the interplay between his inner self and the world he encounters while traveling – illustrating how while travelling broadens horizons, it also prompts introspection. This led to the recording of his upcoming album ‘Tides’ in the quaint French village Boulouris Sur Mer on Le Plage du Dramont, where he set up a studio right by the sea.